Disasters in Chesterfield



On the 27th December 1911, the Palace Theatre, situated at the junction of Burlington Street and Church Street, was destroyed when fire swept through the building. Five young girls who, it is believed dressed as penguins, caught fire. One of them was thought to have been smoking and dropped a lighted splint on herself. Panicking, she spread the fire around her friends who, like her were wearing cotton wool costumes. Some of the other girls were wearing costumes of another material and were extinguished.

The girls were Elizabeth Bell, Mabel Emily Swain, Ada Winifred Tindall, Winifred Lilian Wood.....all 13 years old. Also killed was Lydia Smith who was 12, they all died the following day.

Thanks to John Stinton